Royal Ascot Cricket Club takes part in community scheme to get its ground back into shape


Ex-England captain Mike Gatting is backing the event.


By Ashley Birch

ROYAL Ascot Cricket Club are urging the community to come down and help them get one over Mother Nature as the excitement of the new season takes over.

Next month will see the 13th annual NatWest CricketForce take place with Royal Ascot one of a record-breaking 2,014 clubs registered to participate.

From Friday April 4 to Sunday April 6, thousands will come together to clean, tidy, repair and revitalise clubhouses and grounds in time for the new season.

Royal Ascot will be among that number as it calls on support to get its Winkfield Road home back into shape after it suffered storm damage during the winter.

And club development officer Marc Ames insists with help from NatWest CricketForce the bad winter weather won’t hinder their plans for the new season.

“We will have to work on the sightscreens as we lost one of them in the gales earlier in the year,” he said.

“We’ve not been affected by flooding as there’s a reservoir near the ground where all of the water drains to. 

“A few years ago we did a lot of work on the main bar and club area, putting down new carpets and refitting the bar, but this year it’s a case of cleaning it up a bit.

“It’s a lovely ground to play on and we get a lot of interest from teams to play here, as well as hosting the NatWest Legends team last year.”

The scheme is supported by former England captain and current ECB Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships Mike Gatting.

And Gatting, who played 79 Tests and 92 ODIs for England, insists the recent bad weather makes the 2014 edition even more crucial to clubs like Royal Ascot.

“It is wonderful news that a record-breaking number of clubs have already registered to hold a NatWest CricketForce event,” Gatting said.

“In particular, the challenges presented by the nationwide floods at the start of this year, means that the 2014 effort is more important than ever before. 

“Cricket clubs across the country represent the lifeblood of the sport, and it is hugely important that we all pull together and look after playing facilities.”

NatWest CricketForce is an ECB project helping cricket clubs renovate and improve their facilities before each season with the help of members and their wider communities. Find out when your local club event is (4-6 April), and lend a hand at

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